No EXCELLENT DVD players for <$400?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisMatson, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I have been doing some extensive research into buying a DVD player over the last week and I have come to the conclusion that no player will make everyone happy.
    The Panasonic RP56 was looking to be my next player, as I am now mostly concerned with Picture Quality over DVD-A or SACD. After reading some reviews, I have found that the RP56 has a good picture--but is noisy, has slow layer changes, can't scale non-anamorphic DVDs and has an ugly face.
    The Sony NS700P, and most other players, have the Chroma bug.
    Toshibas have a nice zoom feature, but some people say the picture isn't as good as some others.
    JVC has had some good buzz. (Sound&Vision liked the S60--is it impossible to find now?) Con: Weak video mode.
    Pioneer 440 has terrible progressive picture quality according to several DVD shoot-out type reviews I read.
    I was pretty happy with my old interlaced Pioneer DV-333 on my Wega 36XBR450. Does that mean that I'll be happy with pretty much any player out there? Sometimes I think it would be so much easier to be J6P and just go buy something recommended by a salesperson.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    It may be a bit over your budget, but check out the Denon DVD-1600. It has the Sage/Farjouda deinterlacing chip, no chroma bug, and buffer memory to reduce layer change time. I believe it lists for about $550 but I've seen it cheaper.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    With the exception of the Pioneer 440, all the other machines you mentioned are worthy of your attention. Many of those reported "problems" are exxaggerated, in my opinion. The performance levels of nearly all DVD players $400 and up are pretty closely matched.

    The Sony 700 will do you just fine.
     
  4. BobH

    BobH Stunt Coordinator

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    I have just had an RP56 fail on me so I am in the same market (see posting "Any robust DVD players?".
    The RP56 was excellent for it's picture and it's sound. The layer change was noticeable but not a big deal. I chose it from the excellent review site often mentioned here on HTF:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/main.html
    Since I am using the DVD player as my CD player I am also interested in the sound. The RP56 had 24/96 DACs which is pretty good and the clock and filters were decent. I see a Toshiba 4700 now lists 24/192 DACs, DVDA, progressive scan and mode switching. Might be good, but I am a little gun-shy of cheaper players (for some reason). (It seems most players have 10/54 video DACs.)
    Any more information out there guys/gals?! (PC, huh?)
     
  5. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    After tons of looking I got a Toshiba 4700 a few months back and I'm very happy. I would have bought something more expensive if I felt it represented a better value overall, but I didn't. Lots of raves about the Panasonic RP91 of course, but it's quirky to operate and displays DVD menus shaking on a lot of titles, and has a couple of other issues. The picture is good, if you don't mind tweaking here and there. Personally I like to turn it on and go for most titles.

    With the Toshiba I enjoy DVD-Audio, progressive video (with only slight chroma bug - no biggie), lots of zooming/reformatting capabilities (yes you can display non-anamorphic letterbox titles correctly on 16:9), and it's easy to use. For $240 or whatever I paid, it was a good choice.

    Heck - get one from Best Buy - if you don't like it you can always return it.
     
  6. BobH

    BobH Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry Paul, that's my problem. I have a dead Panny and since it's been three months they won't take it back.

    I just downloaded a Perfect Vision report on DVD players and the RP56 got 1/5 for build quality. Duh. The Toshiba 5700 only got 2/5 so I would guess would the 4700.

    I hate to pay for extended warranty just because they are building crap. Maybe nobody builds a solid player for less than thousands. What a racket!!
     
  7. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    How do the newer Toshibas compare to the older 6200? That's what I have and I've been really happy with it, Chroma notwithstanding.
     
  8. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Well, I picked up the Toshiba 4700 yesterday. We watched The Usual Suspects SE last night and I thought the picture was very good. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get the squeeze out of my XBR450, but a quick scan of the owner's manual revealed that a progressive signal will not allow auto-detect of anamorphic material. I added a macro to my MX-500 remote and now I am loving my first true progressive DVD player. I won't be testing the DVD-Audio or MP3 functions for some time, as I don't have CD-R capabilities at home and I don't envision buying DVD-A discs right away. Next on the "to do" list is a recalibration with AVIA.

    -Chris
     
  9. Duke H

    Duke H Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got the a Toshiba SD-4700, and I love it. I work at an electronics store, and I tried out over 20 DVD players. I also went online to check out the 5700 C- series. What is the difference, you ask? The 5700 plays HDCDs. Ah, yes... HDCDs. When was the last time I bought one of those?!? In short, the 4700's a keeper.
     
  10. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    There are actually a surprising number of HDCD's out there, but I agree that it's not a big deal. The 6200 happens to play them, but as soon as my pre-pro comes I'll most likely use the digital connection for CD's so that point will be irrelevant.
     

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